I Second the Motion on Mark Sanford

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 04, 2008 9:50 AM
Hear, hear, Matt. It's like you're reading my mind. I was just talking about that this morning.

He's one of my favorites for many reasons, but most conservatives will probably only need to hear this story to be sold:

Several South Carolina lawmakers were outraged Thursday when Governor Mark Sanford carried two piglets under his arms to the House chamber to protest fast action by representatives to override his budget vetoes.

Speaker David Wilkins of Greenville says the stunt is beneath the dignity of the governor's office. Wilkins says he's embarrassed for Sanford. Lawmakers adjourned shortly after Sanford showed up with the animals Thursday.

Sanford says it's a lighthearted way to prove his point about what he calls "pork" in the $5.5 billion spending plan, "I think it's important to have a sense of humor at the same time that you're making what I think is a serious point about at least limiting pork barrel spending long enough to pay off this unconstitutional deficit."

The pigs were named "Pork" and "Barrel."

As a little electoral bonus, the governor also grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. before attending high school and college in South Carolina. Roots in Florida never hurt a national election ticket.

Sanford started his political career in the House in 1994, consistently voting against spending increases and honoring a self-imposed term limit before running for governor in 2002.

I had just moved to the southern border of North Carolina in 2002, so I caught all the Sanford ads on broadcast TV. He was seen as an underdog, but pulled off a pretty impressive win and went on to years of ticking off the legislature but pleasing the public with stunts like the pig one. As a conservative North Carolinian, I was tempted to hop the border.

He's an attractive, young, conservative, Southern choice, and would be a boon to the ticket. My only concerns about him are his lack of star power and his tendency toward McCain-like contentious relationships with lawmakers. Of course, most of that contention comes from him fighting for conservative spending cuts, so I love him for it.